Fishing made hassle-free

T. Appala Naidu
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INCOIS and MSSRF keep 2,000 fishermen up-to-date on Potential Fish Zones, weather and location

Tech touch:Ocean Information Digital Board installed at Machilipatnam harbour to keep the fishermen updated.– Photo: T. APPALA NAIDU
Tech touch:Ocean Information Digital Board installed at Machilipatnam harbour to keep the fishermen updated.– Photo: T. APPALA NAIDU

Fish Tracking Device to minimise the risk on the troubled waters and tracking the fish population has become a reality for fishermen in central coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Announcement by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to this effect during his public meeting in Krishna district recently did not receive any response from the targeted people, but a much improved technology has already reached the doorsteps of the fishermen in a small stretch of the State coastline of Krishna, East Godavari, Guntur and Prakasam.

Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service (INCOIS), Hyderabad, in collaboration with M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, launched its Ocean Information Services by 2011 end with Kakinada as its headquarter to operate and monitor the reach of the services on a regular basis. Updates about Potential Fish Zones and Ocean State Forecast Information are the prime services made available to the needy.

As many as 2,000 fishermen, who venture out for fishing in Bay of Bengal, get a text and voice messages to their registered cell phone numbers exactly at 5.30 p.m. everyday. “The message informs the receiver about the wind speed, change in weather, location, distance and depth where the fish is available,” said Ocean Information Service, Krishna district, Co-ordinator D. Srinivasa Rao. The text and voice messages are sent in Telugu language. In case of Tuna fish, the message also carries information about the location and movements of the Tuna species. The INCOIS sends the data required to the project’s headquarters unit at Kakinada, which was geographically found ideal to reach most of the cell phone networks preferred by the fishermen. Electronic Digital Boards which scroll the same information on its screen were also installed in 10 selected locations. “Many fishermen call back to our helpline numbers seeking information about fish zones that are far away from their fishing location. The MSSRF, the implementing authority of the services, is inviting more and more fishermen to use the free services,” Mr. Srinivas told The Hindu .

The cost of fishing including consumption of fuel was significantly minimised besides promising accurate weather alerts, he added. In May alone, about 150 boat operators enrolled for the services that were expanded to Nizampatnam, Lankevanidibba in Guntur district and Vodarevu, Kottapalem-Pallepalem and Gondipalem in Prakasam district.

The MSSRF helpline numbers are: 75690 59856 and 75690 79047.



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